Get in gear for the Ark to Arc

THERE was a real party atmosphere at the Ark to Arc launch night – and the fun evening resulted in a fabulous fundraising boost.

The Tea Bar, in London Street, Basingstoke, was the venue for the Ark to Arc celebration event – and the generous support of auction bidders and raffle ticket buyers saw £4,400 raised.

Winklebury Cycles kindly donated a bicycle that attracted a £600 bid, and an ipad, donated by the Champion Group, and a mini rugby ball signed by England World Cup winner Jason Robinson, and donated by Vitality UK, also pulled in the pounds.

Glen Povey, from Bentley Berkshire, kindly put a chauffeur-driven trip in a Bentley up for grabs – and ended up giving two away to successful bidders, raising a total of £1,500.

Scores of local businesses donated raffle prizes, and generous supporters bought tickets before and during the event.

The party was a great launch pad for Ark to Arc. This will take place between July 12 and July 16, 2017 and will see 30 riders support Ark Cancer Centre Charity, which is raising £5million towards a unique local cancer treatment centre in the Basingstoke area, and Kingsclere-based Bike 4 Cancer (bike4cancer.org).

The cyclists will set off from The Ark Conference Centre, where Ark Cancer Centre Charity is based, on July 12 and they will ride 255 miles to the Arc de Triomphe. On route, the riders will call in at Alencon, one of Basingstoke’s twin towns.                                               

The ride is being organised by Ark Riders – a group that has been formed to help raise money for Ark Cancer Centre Charity’s £5m appeal in 2017 and beyond – and cycling-focused charity Bike 4 Cancer. 

Last year, keen cyclists, who are now involved in the Ark Riders group, took part in cycling events which collectively raised nearly £100,000 for Ark Cancer Centre Charity.

Mark Jones, director of fundraising and communications at Ark Cancer Centre Charity, said: "Thank you to everyone who helped to organise, and supported, the Ark to Arc launch party. It was a great evening and an amazing show of support from generous local people and businesses."

Merit Group is the Gold headline sponsor for the Ark to Arc event, and there are five Silver sponsors – fellow Basingstoke firms Croombs Electrical Services Limited, Excellent Windows, Doors & Conservatories, accountancy practice Lane Monnington Welton, and Neale Turk LLP Solicitors, as well as Epicor, which has an office in Bracknell.

All of the cyclists will be raising money through sponsorship pages set up by Bike 4 Cancer. The charity has extensive connections in the cycling sector and has played a key role in the organisation of Ark to Arc.

Bike 4 Cancer is a cancer respite charity with a sporting focus. It also helps to fund research and makes grants to palliative care centres. Half of the money raised through its Ark to Arc sponsorship pages will go to the charity and the other half to Ark Cancer Centre Charity.

A professional support team will assist the riders throughout Ark to Arc, and accommodation and ferry and Eurostar travel is being provided as part of the entry fee.